Understanding Automotive Brake Parts and Services

2 Places Where Automotive Transmissions Often Develop Leaks

Your European car's transmission is second in importance only to the engine itself. Without a properly functioning transmission, an automobile would not be able to move from gear to gear. To facilitate such smooth functioning, a transmission relies on its own special fluid, which both prevents overheating and lubricates the component's moving parts.

Many transmission problems in European cars occur as the result of leaks that allow this transmission fluid to escape from the system. Should the fluid level bottom out completely, your transmission will likely seize up--an occurrence that means total transmission death. To prevent this from happening, it is important to educate yourself about where transmission leaks frequently occur. This article will discuss two of the most frequent leak locations.

Internal Seals

In order to effectively do its job, the inside of a transmission system must maintain a certain level of hydraulic pressure. The number of different sub-components working together inside of the transmission can make this difficult. To keep pressure at an ideal level, special seals are utilized in all areas where two or more components meet. So long as the seal remains in good shape, it will prevent pressure losses in the system.

What you need to realize is that such seals have a fairly limited lifespan, and stand a greater and greater risk of failure as the years go by. Given the intense heat inside of the system, as well as the high pressure to which they are exposed, it is not uncommon for the seals to crack, fray, or otherwise degrade. When this happens, it will allow fluid to begin escaping. Thus it is important to have a regular seal inspection performed on your transmission.

Torque Converter

The torque converter is not a part of the transmission, per se. Rather it performs an important job of translation: turning the engine's horsepower into the very hydraulic pressure responsible for keeping the transmission fluid moving properly. In performing this role, the torque converter does deal directly with the transmission fluid, which in turn means that any leaks within the torque converter will have a potentially disastrous impact on the transmission.

The good news here is that torque converter leaks are not as common as seal leaks. That's because the torque converter is constructed almost entirely of metal. Yet problems can develop when it comes to the ball bearings and turbine blades within the converter. Should such parts become excessively worn or cracked, fluid may begin leaking out.